Two key priorities of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President, Energy Union at European Commission are detailed here, including investing in energy infrastructure and moving towards climate neutrality
The responsibilities of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President, Energy Union at European Commission include establishing a European Energy Union and helping to mobilise further investment in renewable energy installations, power grids and other energy infrastructure. Coordinating the European Commission’s endeavours to make sure the European Union (EU) reaches its climate and energy targets in the future is another. (1)
In January 2019, we find out that the EU is investing an additional €800 million in priority energy infrastructure with major cross-border benefits. The funding comes from the European support programme for trans-European infrastructure, Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) that includes €504 million allocated to electricity and smart grids, €9.3 million for studies on CO2 transport infrastructure, and €286 for the gas sector.
Projects that enhance the EU’s security of energy supply through the promotion of secure, safe, and efficient network operation, and contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development are given priority. One of these is the Baltic electricity synchronisation project in the electricity sector which has been awarded a €323 million grant. The creation of a connected, modern energy grid is a fundamental part of the Energy Union and one of the political priorities of the Juncker Commission.
Commission Vice-President in charge of the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič affirms: “CEF is one of those instruments that prove the EU’s added value. Today’s approved list showcases that Energy Union is an efficient tool to modernise and green our economies, to make them future proof in line with climate and environmental goals.” (2)
The European Commission’s long-term vision for a competitive, prosperous, modern, and climate neutral economy by 2050 is entitled, A Clean Planet for all. In essence, this points the way to Europe leading the way when it comes to climate neutrality. This includes investing in realistic technological solutions, empowering citizens and aligning action in key areas like industrial policy or research.
While there are many steps ahead, let’s leave the last word to Vice-President, Šefčovič who comments on this forward-looking aspect of policy that delivers on one of his key priorities concerning climate mentioned at the start of this article.
“We cannot safely live on a planet with the climate that is out of control. But that does not mean that to reduce emissions, we should sacrifice the livelihoods of Europeans. Over the last years, we have shown how to reduce emissions, while creating prosperity, high-quality local jobs, and improving people’s quality of life. Europe will inevitably continue to transform. Our strategy now shows that by 2050, it is realistic to make Europe both climate neutral and prosperous, while leaving no European and no region behind.” (3)
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